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Huge public sector job cuts on the cards over the next five years, says the CIPD


The public-sector jobs market has yet to feel the full impact of the recession, but around 350,000 jobs could be slashed in the next five years, according to predictions by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

The CIPD's current estimate is that government fiscal plans will result in 350,000 job cuts between 2010 and 2011 and between 2014 and 2015. This will be preceded by around 30,000 jobs cuts in local authorities in the next year.

John Philpott, chief economist and director of public policy at the CIPD, commented: "Cuts on this scale would still leave the public sector workforce bigger that it was when Gordon Brown became chancellor of the Exchequer in 1997, leaving ample scope for a new government of whatever hue to take an even bigger axe to public-sector jobs after the general election."

Cuts in public spending will also have an indirect impact on private sector jobs, Philpott warned, although from 2011 onward it is hoped the economy will be strong enough to see renewed job creation. He added: "However, the jobs recovery will need to be robust to prevent public-sector job losses adding to what by then will be an already large unemployment pool. And either way the impending ‘age of austerity' means that the greater job security and relative generous pay and pensions packages enjoyed by public sector workers will soon be a thing of the past."